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Tag Archives : beauty essentials

Back to School Ready: Skin Care Edition

Our teens and wide-eyed college coeds are returning from sleepaway camp, teen tours and backpacking excursions in Europe and Asia. The 12 – 21 set has been so busy soaking up the sun, and god knows what else, that they are probably in need of a good facial to reset their skin. They have been so busy with summer activities that a daily skin care regimen has fallen to the bottom of the to do list. Our progeny have returned home with breakouts and post-summer skin irritation due to overexposure to the sun, perhaps sans proper protection and care.

Whether going back to school or off to university, it is a good time to start kids off with a simple custom regimen that will empower them to easily take care of their skin all year round. Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté offers a Teenage Facial devised with teenage skin in mind.

A Cautionary Word of Warning

Young skin is sensitive. It is an imperative to select products that are gentle (organic is not always the answer – many organic products can be the harshest as they tend to have high concentrations of ingredients) on the skin. Products that are too harsh tend to be a major culprit contributing to adolescent skin irritation and spots.

Back To School Skin Care Regimen

In the spirit of keeping it simple, here are three easy, turnkey steps that are sure to work for all:

Step One: Cleanse

Lavido makes a gentle Purifying Face Cleanser that is specially formulated for sensitive skin. It is well suited for everyone and gently removes dead skin cells and impurities. For those in their late teens and early twenties, who wear makeup and are willing to take an extra step, I also suggest a post cleansing toner. Heaven Skincare EllaJane Celebrity Skin Wipes are ideal. It’s a toner in an easy to use wipe. They contain honey which heals and moisturizes as well as peppermint which balances the skin’s oil levels and keeps blemishes at bay. Wipes are my favorite, particularly for nighttime when everyone is tired and just wants to crawl into bed. Cleansing and moisturizing are most important at night as this is the time when the skin carries out its filtering activities at the cellular level.

Step Two: Moisturize

Alchimie Forever Daily Defense Cream SPF 23 is all natural, dermatologist-tested and vegan. This moisturizer is gentle and has a light SPF, which is beneficial all year long.

For young men that are about to start shaving or are already doing so, Ursa Major Traveler’s Skin Care Kit is an all encompassing try me kit containing a cleaner, toner, moisturizer/aftershave and toner soaked face wipes. Fortifying Face Balm is an ideal moisturizer and/or aftershave. It fights razor burn and irritation like a charm. Ursa Major’s individually wrapped Essential Face Wipes are perfect for use after gym class, as a late afternoon refresher or quick clean-up before bed.

Step Three: At Home Mini Facial

For those that will take the extra step, applying a mask once a week will do wonders. It is akin to an at home mini facial that will keep their skin clear all year long. Lavido Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream is meant to be a 2- 3 x per week gentle face scrub but I use it as a face mask. The formula contains oyster shell powder and pomegranate peel grains to turn over dead skin cells and buildup. It is extremely effective at unclogging pores but is gentle enough not to overdry skin. Plus, on days that it is used, it can be used as a 2-in-one cleanser and mask. Just apply, leave on for 5 – 10 minutes and rinse. Very easy.

Some Useful Extras

For teens that find themselves with blemishes, B. Kamins Laboratories Blemish Gel 5% is the perfect spot treatment to dab onto affected areas. It delivers the right amount of medicine in a lower dose than other over the counter treatments and will not irritate or overdry skin.

Additionally, Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream is a no brainer. With the change of season and school stress, everyone can use a new lip balm to kick off the school year with a stunning smile!

All of these products will take you and your teens through fall and into winter seamlessly.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter @AlyssaBarrie

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Beauty Essentials for Your Gym Bag

As a working mom who likes to work out, I often leave my house at 7:30am with all the supplies I need for my 7:30pm gym class…I don’t have time to go home between work, kids and class. Because of this hustle, packing my gym bag with the proper products has become a crucial life skill. What do I ABSOLUTELY need? What’s extraneous? What’s a little bit of a luxury that will make a big difference to me at 9pm? All this and more is taken into consideration.

Vine Minus Ion Care Water Does. It. All.

Fixes post-gym crazy hair. Is a great antibacterial pre-workout skin prep and post-workout skin refresher. Due to its germ-killing abilities, you can even use it to wipe down your yoga mat after class. (Read more about the benefits of Care Water.)

Mio Skincare Clean Slate Swipes & Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

I’ve gushed about both of these products so many times, I’m hoping you’re already packing them in your gym bag on the regular…both are spreading like a virus among my fellow gym members. They come individually wrapped, so they are super compact. I shove a few of each in my bag on Sunday night so they’re there when I need them. Each jumbo Mio Skincare Clean Slate Swipe is formulated with natural ingredients to help prevent blemishes and post-gym breakouts, as well as aloe vera and omega oils to exfoliate and moisturize skin. They efficiently & effectively remove makeup, sweat and oil. Their cucumber and mint infused scent makes me feel like I’m bathing in a huge glass of the cucumber water I sip while at the spa. Mio Swipes are suitable for both face and body, so I like to use one all over post-workout (it is THAT big). Pre-workout, when just my face needs a cleaning, I bring an Ursa Major Essential Wipe specifically for that task. These award-winning wipes also cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin to leave it (and you!) feeling refreshed and so clean, clean.

Yu-be Moisturizing Skin Cream

I love kickboxing for so many reasons. What it’s doing to my knuckles is not one of them. To prevent farmhand hands, I make sure to coat my knuckles in this ultra-protective, healing cream before I put my gloves on. If you’ve used Yu-be Moisturizing Skin Cream before, you know its myriad uses, from nose to toes. The one ounce tube is convenient enough to keep in my handbag, so I have it even on my rest days.

Mio Skincare Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Motivating Gel

My shoulders have been a tension center for years. Building muscle in that area has only exacerbated the situation. Well, this little bottle earns every word in its name. It is perfect for pre and post-workout, as it not only invigorates muscles, but also helps to soothe them. Extracts of Arnica, Horse Chestnut, Murumuru Butter, Spearmint and natural Magnesium increase circulation, ease aches and inflammation and help speed up recovery. This uplifting cocktail of herbs and extracts leaves my body feeling cooled, soothed and ache-free. Though it’s called a gel, Mio Skincare Workout Wonder is a cream…and a creamy cream at thatzero annoying stickiness. And like every single Mio Skincare products, it smells fantastic.

DERMAdoctor MED e TATE Antiperspirant Wipes

Believe the hype around these wipes! They really stop the schvitz without the gross, caked-on feeling of traditional antiperspirants. They are also so gentle. Trying to apply even natural deodorants right after shaving has often made my underarms feel like fire pits. MED e TATE Wipes are Hypoallergenic, non-irritating, non-comedogenic and oil, fragrance, dye, paraben, gluten and phthalate free.

Shower At The Gym? You Need These

Binchotan Facial Cleansing Mask – This 3-in-1 face wash is downright magical. It is simultaneously the gentlest yet deepest cleansing wash I’ve ever used. It also works in 30 seconds flat. And EVERYONE will tell you how amazing your skin looks. Trust me.

Alchimie Forever Dry Skin Balm – What no one told me about working out was how callused my heels would get. Slathering this balm on them straight out of the shower has really helped. Don’t stop there, though. If you shower in the gym, go ahead and apply this rich balm from the neck down.

Philip Kingsley Try Me Kit – This trio will take up hardly any real estate in your gym bag. Pick the shampoo and conditioner that best suits your hair type; all kits come with the award-winning Elasticizer pre-shampoo treatment. Ready for the best trick EVER? Apply Elasticizer pre-workout, then throw your hair up in a ponytail. Elasticizer will help keep your hair in check and the increased body heat will help the product work better. BOOM. Easiest multitasking you’ll ever do.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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Getting Skin Back to School Ready

Hold Onto Your Summer Glow

The end of August traditionally leaves us longing to hold onto the healthy glow that we have cultivated all season long. Do not pine away as your tan fades, give it a little boost with Institut Esthederm Sun Sheen Light Self-tanning Face Cream and Sun Sheen Light Self-tanning Body Lotion. These products can be used 3-4 times per week to stretch the life of your tan. They never turn orange or streaky and layer gradually to produce natural results. Your skin can stay party-ready all year round.

And Now…Back to School

Now that we have addressed the fears surrounding the possible disappearance of your seasonal lustre, let’s focus on getting the kids ship shape for September. Around this time of year, many of my clients bring in their children, as young as ages 12-21, for a back to school facial.

Some of the younger adolescence I see have been at sleepaway camp and may have returned with a bit of pre-teen breakouts, while most teenagers have post-summer skin irritation due to sun exposure.

Whether going back to school or off to university, it is a good time to start kids off with a simple custom regimen that will empower them to easily take care of their skin all year round.

Customize with Travel Beauty

What I find unique about Travel Beauty is that one can tailor his or her own regimen and create a custom kit of products. Travel Beauty’s Concierge Service is always on call and reachable by phone or email to help create a skin care routine that is perfect for you. You can call them at 888-717-8790 or email them at concierge@travelbeauty.com. Let them know your and your child’s skin type, and they will help you create an effective skin care practice that will deliver the best results.

Back To School Skin Care Regimen

In the meantime, here are some easy steps that are sure to work for ALL:

Step One: Cleanse

B. Kamins Laboratories makes a gentle Vegetable Cleanser that is specially formulated for sensitive skin. It is well suited for everyone and gently removes dead skin and impurities.

For those in their late teens who wear makeup and/or are willing to take an extra step, I also suggest a post cleansing toner. Lavido Hydrating Facial Toner is organic and gentle enough to use without fear of throwing off their pH balance.

Step Two: Moisturize

B. Kamins Laboratories makes a wonderful BB Cream which contains a light moisturizer, vitamins and a hint of color and sparkle. Teens and tweens seem to be wearing makeup younger and younger these days and this will give them the glow they need for every day.

Another good moisturizing alternative is Alchimie Forever Daily Defense Cream SPF 23. All natural, dermatologist-tested and vegan, this moisturizer is gentle and has a light SPF, which is beneficial all year long.

For young men that are about to start shaving or are already doing so, Elemis S.O.S. Survival Cream is an ideal moisturizer and/or aftershave. It fights razor burn and irritation like a charm.

Step Three: At Home Mini Facial

For those that will take the extra step, applying a mask once a week will do wonders. It is akin to an at home mini facial that will keep their skin clear all year long:

•   Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask: For normal to oily skin. Great for healing blemishes and clearing up breakouts.

•   Juvena Specialist Moisture Plus Gel Mask: A rehydrating mask for sensitive, dry or reactive skin.

Some Useful Extras

For teens that find themselves with blemishes, B. Kamins Laboratories Blemish Gel 5% is the perfect spot treatment to dab on to affected areas. It delivers the right amount of medicine in a lower dose than other over the counter treatments and will not irritate or overdry skin.

B. Kamins SPF 20 Lip Balm is a no brainer. With the change of season and school stress, everyone can use a new lip balm to kick off the school year with a stunning smile!

All of these products will take you and your teens through fall and into winter.

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Toiletry Bag Packing Tips

When you travel with as many expensive toiletries as we do, you learn – rather quickly – which packing strategies work and which leave you with a toiletry travel kit coated in night cream. Here are our roadtested methods for arriving at your destination with your products – and your beauty regimen – fully in tact.

It’s What’s Outside that Counts

First and foremost, choose your toiletry bag wisely. We designed our Travel Beauty Travel Bag to be slightly padded, zipper-enclosed and plastic-lined. The padding protects products from breakage, but if the unfortunate happens, the plastic lining and zipper stops it from getting unfortunate all over your vacation wardrobe!

Dust Off Your Dust Bags

More and more beauty products come in eco-friendly glass bottles every day. And though they be beautiful on our vanity, they are perilous in our carry-ons. Enter the smaller size dust bags you’ve likely amassed…you know, the ones that come with large jewelry pieces (hello, Alexis Bittar bangle) and small leather goods. These are your beauty products’ best friends. Put each glass product in its own bag (the thicker, the better) to protect them from banging against each other and then breaking.

Know Your Products’ M.O.

What spills easily and what does not? For example, there’s an oil we love, but it seeps out of its bottle very easily. We learned (the messy way) that this particular product has to stay home. (We are not fans of transferring containers, especially with oils. Too much gets lost in transportation!) Also, pump bottles – the types you have to press down to lock – are all-around bad travel buddies. The pump almost always opens, and then the darn thing is pumping product out the entire time you’re in transit, unbeknownst to you! As much as possible, go with tubes that have tightly-closing flip tops. We also love powder formulas for travel, like Juvena Pure Lifting Peeling Powder. The less liquids to worry about, the better.

Pack Products that Pack a Triple Punch (Or More)

Most of the products we really love do many different things…and do them all well. A quality multi-purpose oil, like Huile 27 can be used from scalp to soles, and works fabulously wherever you apply it. When thinking of which products multi-task well, don’t forget about those that are unisex! Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes are traditionally a men’s product. But these wipes are so cleansing and refreshing, we love them just as much as our husbands do! Then there’s Vine Minus Ion Water, which is so high tech and multi-talented it could probably fly the plane if need be. It is a great refresher/primer for hair and face, it moisturizes and has antibacterial properties. You can even brush your teeth with it!

Always Pack a Dream Cream

Bring one product you can keep with you (in your purse) and that can go anywhere on you. Heaven Skincare Black Label Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream is made with such high quality organic ingredients you can use it not only on your hands and nails (and arms and legs and feet) but also on your face. Plus, the luscious scent has the aromatherapeutic benefits of being calming, comforting and stress reducing! ‘Cause, you know, travel can be a bit stressful sometimes…

Bon Voyage!

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Interview with Ada Polla of Alchimie Forever

TB: Before your family founded the brand, did you know you’d follow your parents into this industry? If so, when and why?

 AP: I started working in my father’s dermatology practice when I was 10 years old – so I really grew up in the family business. It always seemed natural to me, and yes, as far as I can remember, I always wanted to join the family business. Or I should say, “one of” the family businesses. The first business my parents opened together was an art gallery. As an art history major in college, I always thought that would be my path. It wasn’t. Then I thought about opening a Forever Laser Institut in the US, expanding our spa business. That was not my path, either (at least not yet…). Then I thought about bringing the best that my father created to the US through these little jars…and decided that Alchimie Forever was indeed my path to making a difference in the family business!

TB: Alchimie began by developing products that meet the needs of post-procedural skin. What has this research taught you about skin care in general?

AP: The fact that the first Alchimie Forever products were created in our medical spa, Forever Laser Institut, to help heal the skin after the treatments my father would perform on his clients (initially mostly laser treatments) led to a formulation philosophy that is very much based on reducing inflammation, which is a scientific way of saying healing the skin. Indeed, post-procedure, the skin cannot tolerate anything too aggressive. Instead, it needs ingredients that will quell redness, cool heat, calm, and soothe. I have learned throughout the years how much of a pro-ager inflammation is – too much inflammation will lead to more rapid aging – which after all is what we are working against. I think there is confusion in the mind of the consumer, with the idea that if a product doesn’t tingle, make you peel, or induce redness, it is not doing anything. Such products certainly have a place in the market, but they must be balanced by products that reduce inflammation. That is what is at the core of our formulation strategy.

TB: What differences do you see between attitudes towards skin care and regimens in The US vs. those in Switzerland? Is there anything one can learn from the other?

AP: There are definite differences! In Switzerland (and France, and perhaps a few other European countries), skin care is considered as essential as dental care. My grandmother took me for my first facial when I was 15, now that “I was becoming a woman” and told me that bi-annual facials were a must, just like getting your teeth cleaned by a professional twice a year. Really, it is not because you brush your teeth at home (just like you wash your face) that you don’t go to the dentist for a cleaning (the equivalent of a facial). Also, you don’t wait for your teeth to rot (the equivalent of wrinkles) to go see your dentist (i.e., Don’t wait for your skin to look old to go to the aesthetician or dermatologist). I wish American women would spend more time and money on their skin – in particular as opposed to their hair! Look into the vanity of an American woman and it is mostly hair and makeup products. A European woman will have mostly face and body products in her bathroom, with just a bit of hair and makeup.

In contrast, American women seem less patient with their skin care expectations. They want that brown spot fixed yesterday. Even though it took years in the making. They want a miracle in a jar.

TB: In the midst of your busy life, which includes a lot of travel, what are your “must do everyday” beauty essentials?

AP: I love this question. A big part of Alchimie Forever is the true belief in “self care through skin care” – that is, the idea that taking care of one’s skin is as essential is a way of taking care of one’s self. I do travel about 75% of my time, which takes a toll on my skin. Here are my top 6 must dos (travel or not…):

  1. I start my day with a big glass of water and a Super Orange EmergenC. I stopped drinking orange juice many years ago when I started counting my calories, so this is my replacement. Plus I never drink enough water during the day so I feel that at least my day is starting off with water. And the vitamins are essential, especially if I am not able to eat as healthily on the road as I would wish to.
  2. Alchimie Forever Daily Defense SPF 23 every day on face and neck, every morning. No matter the time of year, no matter the weather. I feel like that way I am protected from anything that will come my way.
  3. Alchimie Forever tightening eye contour gel, every morning. This is technically one of our men’s products (although I think I might change that when we redo our packaging) yet I love it – it is like a shot of espresso for my eye contour. As I tell anyone who will listen, if you are old enough to drink, you are old enough for a great eye contour cream!
  4. Trish McEvoy mascara. I won’t leave the house without mascara, let alone meet with anyone without it!
  5. Aveda Stress Fix body lotion. I love the lavender scent, it does melt away my stress. And I have this in travel size too!
  6. Twice a week, I use our Antioxidant refining scrub and Kantic brightening moisture mask. At home or on the road, I feel like these two products remove the “plane” from my skin – my skin is once again bright, hydrated, and glowing.

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